5 Easy Ways To Become A Runner

Hate running? You are not alone, my friend. I have loathed running for many years and always said it “just isn’t for me.”This year as part of my “30 Before 30” (see original post here) I decided to challenge myself to run a race. Originally I set the bar very low and said I just wanted to complete a 10k. Well, in January I signed up for a 1/2 marathon in Denver with my best friend, Annie. She is doing her own 30 Before 30 challenge and has 1/2 marathon on her list. So in just 3 short months I will head to Denver, CO and attempt to run 13.1 miles. Eeek!

I would not say that I have fallen in love yet with running but over these past 2-3 months I have learned a few things that might help someone who also dislikes running but wants to give it a try.

Here are 5 easy ways to start becoming a runner:

1. Confront Emotional Barriers.
In order to complete any goal you must look at potential emotional barriers in your way. I never felt like I was athletic enough to be a runner. It was a case of lowered self-esteem. I say “lowered” because I don’t have low self-esteem in general but I think we all have those things that make us feel down on ourselves. I also worried that I would fail or embarrass myself. You have to acknowledge your emotional barriers and make a conscious choice to set them to the side where they belong. You may even use self talk to motivate you past these barriers. The most popular form of self talk would be giving yourself daily affirmations.

2. Do Strength Training & Stretching
If you have a strong core, butt, and legs it makes running much easier. I attend a weekly Piyo (pilates/yoga fusion) class which has really strengthened my thighs, glutes, and core. Piyo also helps firm your booty and who doesn’t want that?! I also recommend you stretch very well the night before a run and also right before running. Consider doing a 20 minute yoga routine each day. There are a ton of yoga routines you can find on YouTube.

3. Make A Great Music Playlist
You know those songs that makes you jump out of you seat and dance? Add them. Make a playlist filled with your favorite hits. I like to add songs that I know I’ll never skip. I also like to add some songs that have motivational lyrics so when I hit mile 3 and I want to stop I have someone literally yelling in my ear to “Don’t stop. Get it. Get it…..You can do it put you back into it.” That’s just an example from a  90’s Ice Cube song but you get the idea.

4. Set Markers
Make small goals to complete and then when you complete it just keep going. It sounds a bit insane to say to yourself, “Ok, I’ll just run to that tree and then I can walk.” but when you get to the tree you just keep going. It’s insane but it works. I like to challenge myself to run until the next song comes on. Then when the next song comes on I challenge myself to run for 2 more minutes and so on. This is the thing that has helped me the most. I always feel successful after a run because I have complete so many mini-goals. It’s great!

5. Start Walking
You have to start some place. There is this woman I have seen on the street in front of my house. She walks a 3 mile loop everyday from 3-4pm. She has been doing this for at least a year. A few months ago I noticed that she was jogging in between spurts of walking. That’s the way to do it. Start walking and then build up to walking and jogging a little. Then walk and jog a lot. Then walk, jog, and run!

So those are my top 5 tips to start running based on my own personal experience. I may update or add to this list as I continue on my own journey into running. Let me know in the comments section your tips or advice. You can also contact me with your tips at the social media links below.

Have a great day!

Other places to find me:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Blog: http://www.imperfectpearl.blogspot.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Email: courtneywval@gmail.com

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Update #2- My Journey Into Running: 30 Before 30

Buenos Dias!

Today I want to give you a quick update on my 1/2 marathon training progress.

This week I got in 3 training sessions: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Monday I did an hour Piyo (Pilates/yoga fusion) class for strength training. It is always very intense and pushes me to my limits. I love it though and I can feel myself getting stronger. I have never been a very coordinated person so group fitness classes were something I usually stayed away from. Then I just decided I didn’t care if I looked goofy to other people because it’s not about them. It’s about me and my fitness. When I started Piyo a few months ago I was a hot mess and I probably looked like a crazy person flinging my arms and legs about. Now I have built strength and I am able to control my movements better. It also helps that most people in the class are beginners so we are all learning together and there is no pressure to be amazing.

On Wednesday and Friday I did indoor treadmill runs. I know outdoor running would be better but with the windy, 20 degree temperature we have been dealing with this week I had to take it indoors. Like I said in a previous post, I have a plan and a back-up plan. My back up plan is to walk one mile and run one mile until I finish the race. I am taking a similar approach to my training.  I start by walking .5-1 mile and then running 1 mile. Both days I  completed 3.1 miles (5k). Next week I hope to complete 3.5-4 miles each session. I know that doing too much running in a short amount of time can lead to severe knee injuries so I want to build up my distance gradually. According to several training plans, a runner should not increase their distance by more than a mile each week. I don’t want one race to ruin my knees and rack up a lot of physical therapy bills. Slow and steady wins the race.

Overall, I am feeling really good. My time is not very fast and right now between walking and running I average a 14 minute mile. That is with walking though. Yesterday I tracked my running mile and it took me about 11 minutes to complete. My goal is a 10 minute mile because I think that is feasible for my age and experience.

That is my little update for this week and I hope you enjoy following me on this journey. Leave me any questions, comments, or advice down below.

Have a great weekend!

Other places to connect:
Instagram: http://instagram.com/courtney.val
Twitter: @courtneywval
Youtube: Click here

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Workplace Workout Ideas

Hello again!

I’m at work on a Saturday and scrolling through Instagram, seeing all these wonderful people getting in their weekend workouts. Instead of sitting here in envy I can get my booty up and moving even if I can’t make it to the gym.

Below are some of my options for getting in exercise moves while at work. Even if you are not trying to get into shape these moves are great for improving circulation and boosting energy at work. Sitting for long periods of time has also been linked to an increase chance of developing Diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.  (See cited article here )

I am often alone at work so I just stand up from my chair and start doing these moves but you can always take a bathroom break to practices these exercises. Don’t pay any attention if people stare at you like you’re crazy because you are taking care of your health and that’s definitely not crazy. I find taking little exercise or stretch breaks helps the quality of my work too. If I sit for too long I find my brain gets a little foggy. I think it also helps to focus my eyes on something other than the computer screen for a few minutes. If you need an exercise reminder you can download the Time Out app to your computer. It will pause whatever you’re doing for a designated period of time. This will give you the break you need to do a few squats, stretch, or fill up your water bottle. (Download it here

All of these workout options can be repeated as many times as you like or at every bathroom break.
**Of course you should always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.**

Exercise Option 1
10 Squats
10 Lunges-each leg
10 Side bends-each side
10 Knee lifts-each knee
30 Second wall sit

Exercise Option 2 (works best in a one person bathroom)
30 Jumping Jacks
15 Tricep Dips (use stable chair) OR 15 Push-ups using ledge of sink/desk/table
20 Squats
1 Minute wall sit
20 Knee lifts, elbow to opposite knee;both sides

Exercise Option 3
Sun salutation stretch
Neck Stretch- both sides
Gentle neck roll-both sides
Write the alphabet with ankle- both ankles
10 wrist circles-both hands
Shoulder rolls-Forward and backward
Calf stretch-both calves

Click here for the Mayo Clinic’s office stretch recommendations.

I also love this “TPS Report Workout” by my favorite Tone It Up girls!
Check out the video HERE

These are just my ideas and routines I do while at work but I would love to know if you have any special exercises or moves you do while at work. Let me know in the comments!

Have a great day!

Other places to find me:
Instagram: courtney.val
Twitter: @courtneywval
Youtube: Here
Email: courtneywval@gmail.com

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New Social Media And Contact Info!

Hey there!

Some big changes are coming to my blog and a few have already happened. I want to make it easier for people to find me and my content so I have created a special Instagram and Twitter for all things Courtney!

Follow me!
Instagram: courtney.val
Twitter: @courtneywval

I already had a personal Instagram and Twitter but I know some of my family and friends don’t really want to constantly see pictures of meals, make-up, etc. So follow me through the accounts listed above!

Other types of posts you can expect on my new social media sites:
~Photos of sales, discounts, or bargains I see while shopping
~Motivational and inspirational content
~Pics of my bunny, Luna
~Mini-product reviews
~Beauty content
~Fashion content
~Budget-friendly and affordable ideas for every day living
~Travel content
~ and more!

I also have a new email address for comments, questions, business inquires, and vidoe/blog requests.  Email me at courtneywval@gmail.com

As always you can also connect with me through my Youtube channel .

Thanks for stopping by!

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